48 votes

What are some genuinely good places online?

With a lot of websites going down the shitter in an attempt to monetize (looking at you, Reddit), I'm wondering where some nice places are online. Nice whether in UI, the community, or really just in general. Below is a small list off the top of my head.


Tildes, because of high quality discussion.

Disroot. It's a slew of useful tools, available for free, while respecting privacy. Genuinely really useful, lots of utilities, good documentation, and a really nice community.

Wikipedia. It's Wikipedia, end of.

Mastodon. This one wholly depends on your instance, but on most(?) the people are nice, and the environment is a lot less argumentative.

Hacker News, high quality discussion over a fair few topics. Very active, too.

41 comments

  1. [14]
    smoontjes Link
    I'm honestly surprised that nobody has mentioned Reddit. It has a shit reputation here on Tildes, and I totally get it! There are good reasons for it, but as long as you stay away from the larger...

    I'm honestly surprised that nobody has mentioned Reddit. It has a shit reputation here on Tildes, and I totally get it! There are good reasons for it, but as long as you stay away from the larger subs, people are genuinely nice 99.9% of the time.

    Most of the LGBT+ subreddits are great places and unbelievably supportive. The communities for various health issues are also genuinely good and supportive - ones for physical as well as mental health issues.

    25 votes
    1. [4]
      firstname (edited ) Link Parent
      I think its mostly due to the direction reddit has taken over the past couple of years in general. The large subreddits has always been a bit circle jerk in the first place. And yes, there are...

      I think its mostly due to the direction reddit has taken over the past couple of years in general. The large subreddits has always been a bit circle jerk in the first place. And yes, there are plenty of smaller subreddits that are amazing. I use reddit a lot for music interests and there are a few i use often to discover music, and share within.

      I also want to add to the mental health topic. I have been active in r/bipolar for many years. That community helped me so much around the time of my diagnosis, bipolar disorder is so fucking complex and there is so much to learn when it comes to learning how to live with it, and understand it. We know so little about the brain after all. It used to be a great support group. But, as reddit has grown even that place has turned into a meme fiesta, and i barely use it at all anymore.

      15 votes
      1. [3]
        StellarV Link Parent
        Even the support communities become overwhelmed with people just posting selfies which are upvoted far more than discussion topics and useful information.

        Even the support communities become overwhelmed with people just posting selfies which are upvoted far more than discussion topics and useful information.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          LetsTalkUFOs Link Parent
          Doesn't this mean the degradation in quality is more a factor of the size of the community? I'm currently observing many members of a sub I recently started moderating have the same gripes with...

          Doesn't this mean the degradation in quality is more a factor of the size of the community? I'm currently observing many members of a sub I recently started moderating have the same gripes with their own community (which has gradually gone to 80k subs, but at an accelerating rate).

          Personally, I think Tildes itself is a good example. I don't see anything within the underlying mechanics which would prevent a general degradation in the quality of discussion if it were to increase in size by significant factors.

          4 votes
          1. cfabbro Link Parent
            https://docs.tildes.net/mechanics-future

            Personally, I think Tildes itself is a good example. I don't see anything within the underlying mechanics which would prevent a general degradation in the quality of discussion if it were to increase in size by significant factors.

            https://docs.tildes.net/mechanics-future

    2. a_wild_swarm_appears Link Parent
      Step 1 on reddit: unsub from everything. Step 2: look for niche subs.

      Step 1 on reddit: unsub from everything.
      Step 2: look for niche subs.

      9 votes
    3. [5]
      Amarok Link Parent
      I'll share a list of some of my favorite smaller reddit places. /r/vintageobscura is the single most excellent music community anywhere on reddit. It's the brainchild of kaptain_carbon, a dusty...

      I'll share a list of some of my favorite smaller reddit places.

      • /r/vintageobscura is the single most excellent music community anywhere on reddit. It's the brainchild of kaptain_carbon, a dusty haven that's somewhat like an archaeological dig site. Honorable mention for /r/letstalkmusic and /r/wearethemusicmakers.
      • /r/patientgamers is the best of the gaming set. Honorable mention for /r/ludology which, while slow, does tend to feature heady content.
      • /r/dndbehindthescreen is the best of the roleplaying games set, geared for the people running the game to share advice, ideas, and stories.
      • /r/neutralpolitics proves that yes, you can actually talk about politics without killing everyone involved in the conversation.
      • /r/netsec and /r/sysadmin are excellent places for people working with information technology.
      4 votes
      1. [2]
        nsz Link Parent
        Man I'm really digging r/vintageobscura, thanks for the link.

        Man I'm really digging r/vintageobscura, thanks for the link.

        1 vote
      2. LetsTalkUFOs Link Parent
        These are excellent suggestions. Thank you!

        These are excellent suggestions. Thank you!

        1 vote
      3. superkp Link Parent
        Commenting specifically to say that /r/dndbehindthescreen is amazing for anyone playing any system of RPGs The user there "famoushippopotamus" should at least be writing rules and adventures for...

        Commenting specifically to say that /r/dndbehindthescreen is amazing for anyone playing any system of RPGs

        The user there "famoushippopotamus" should at least be writing rules and adventures for RPGs full-time, if not creating his own system.

    4. [3]
      smoontjes Link Parent
      Also, @kavi, could you give a brief description of what Mastodon is about? I keep seeing it mentioned in different threads here on Tildes :)

      Also, @kavi, could you give a brief description of what Mastodon is about? I keep seeing it mentioned in different threads here on Tildes :)

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        kavi (edited ) Link Parent
        EDIT: No longer on mobile, it'll stay the same though. Mastodon is a federated alternative to Twitter. That means many sites host Mastodon instances - for different topics. Federation means you...

        EDIT: No longer on mobile, it'll stay the same though.

        Mastodon is a federated alternative to Twitter. That means many sites host Mastodon instances - for different topics. Federation means you can communicate to anyone on any instance. However, I genuinely think the better part is the community at large. Mastodon is just perfect for having conversations with random people. It's also got a gorgeous UI - think Tweetdeck. And it's FOSS.

        Try this instance picker to find one that suits your needs.

        6 votes
        1. mrnd Link Parent
          One of the reasons the community is good, is because as the instances are mostly rather small, the moderators per user -amount is ridiculously better than on Twitter for example. The software also...

          One of the reasons the community is good, is because as the instances are mostly rather small, the moderators per user -amount is ridiculously better than on Twitter for example. The software also provides great moderation tools and also many QoL improvements like content warnings.

          Most instances are also very explicitly safe spaces, so the lgbt-community is really prominent. (That's something that's very unusual for such tech-originated community)

          2 votes
  2. [8]
    hungariantoast (edited ) Link
    Lobsters is a great, tech-focused community. I made a (sort of) informative comment about it in another thread. I actually find it hard to recommend Hacker News to people, I find myself incredibly...

    Lobsters is a great, tech-focused community. I made a (sort of) informative comment about it in another thread.

    I actually find it hard to recommend Hacker News to people, I find myself incredibly distrustful of Discord, and would stop using the service in a heartbeat if I could convince my friends to stop using it also, and when it comes up in conversation, I plainly tell people they should stay away from Reddit or Twitter.

    Tildes and Lobsters are both easy recommendations for me though.

    13 votes
    1. [3]
      firstname Link Parent
      I am not updated on to why Discord should be distrusted, and i use it for all gaming communication since we all have our friends there as you mentioned. My guess is that they gather a lot of data...

      I am not updated on to why Discord should be distrusted, and i use it for all gaming communication since we all have our friends there as you mentioned.

      My guess is that they gather a lot of data per usual. Any more information would be appreciated.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Bauke Link Parent
        This topic from back in August has a lot good points about Discord and why they may not be trustworthy.

        This topic from back in August has a lot good points about Discord and why they may not be trustworthy.

        6 votes
        1. firstname Link Parent
          thanks, bookmarking it for later.

          thanks, bookmarking it for later.

          2 votes
    2. [4]
      kavi Link Parent
      I'm sorry, my English isn't great and I don't get the second paragraph's meaning at all. Could you rephrase?

      I'm sorry, my English isn't great and I don't get the second paragraph's meaning at all. Could you rephrase?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        Sorry about that, I just got home and that paragraph was all over the place. I edited it to be a little clearer I think, but if you have a question feel free to ask! Seriously, don't sweat it,...

        Sorry about that, I just got home and that paragraph was all over the place. I edited it to be a little clearer I think, but if you have a question feel free to ask!

        Seriously, don't sweat it, your English is better than mine at the moment.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          kavi (edited ) Link Parent
          Thanks! I agree with both not recommending Twitter. I don't think it'd be hard to persuade my friends to use Matrix over Discord, but there are still the other servers I'm in. Reddit isn't too bad...

          Thanks!

          I agree with both not recommending Twitter. I don't think it'd be hard to persuade my friends to use Matrix over Discord, but there are still the other servers I'm in.

          Reddit isn't too bad in certain areas - small subs tend to be a lot better than larger ones, and there are a few that have scaled really well (eg /r/casualconversation). Why is Hacker News hard to recommend?

          2 votes
          1. hungariantoast Link Parent
            Don't mind me, just replying almost a week late. I don't like Hacker News for a lot of reasons, some of them less concrete than others. First of all, their moderation system is very opaque, in...

            Don't mind me, just replying almost a week late.

            I don't like Hacker News for a lot of reasons, some of them less concrete than others.

            First of all, their moderation system is very opaque, in other words, a lot of moderator actions are not transparent at all, and the moderators rarely provide explanation or discussion when they get called out.

            Secondly, they practice "hell-banning" which is like shadow-banning on Reddit. You can still post and comment and be a user, but unknown to you, no other users can see your posts or comments. This is largely used to make trolls tire themselves out, but it's a shit practice regardless. If you're going to ban a user, just do it.

            Then there are the more conspiratorial opinions I've read, such as Hacker News lending help to posts that make its parent company, Y Combinator, or Paul Graham, look better, or posts that are really just meant to promote companies that Y Combinator is seeding, almost like a propaganda engine. These are all unproven of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.

            Regardless of that though, the user-base, while certainly more mature than Reddit, is still similarly toxic and unforgiving.

            As far as Reddit, yeah, it's almost a rule these days that large subbreddits are awful, but there are some exceptions. My favorite subreddits are all relatively small though. Places like /r/rougelikedev are great.

            3 votes
  3. [4]
    firstname Link
    https://duckduckgo.com/ - This search engine work just as well as Google, and it does not gather any data they say. This is my go to search engine. https://agoodmovietowatch.com/ - If you ever...

    https://duckduckgo.com/ - This search engine work just as well as Google, and it does not gather any data they say. This is my go to search engine.

    https://agoodmovietowatch.com/ - If you ever have a hard time deciding on what movie you want to watch, this is the best place i have found. It was pretty basic a few years ago and they have added changes over time that i agree with. Going through their "top list" is a good start. You get to experience film from all over the world using this site.

    8 votes
    1. jackson Link Parent
      LOVE ddg. Even if I don't quite get the results I'm looking for, I just have to add !g to the end and it takes me to google. Word of advice to people new to it-- keep your safesearch on moderate...

      LOVE ddg. Even if I don't quite get the results I'm looking for, I just have to add !g to the end and it takes me to google.

      Word of advice to people new to it-- keep your safesearch on moderate unless you are definitely looking for something that would be filtered out of image searches.

      4 votes
    2. [2]
      Amarok Link Parent
      I'd say duckduckgo is on the cusp of being better than google - mostly due to google injecting ads into the results and their engine having a consumer/sales oriented ranking. Maybe it's just me,...

      I'd say duckduckgo is on the cusp of being better than google - mostly due to google injecting ads into the results and their engine having a consumer/sales oriented ranking. Maybe it's just me, but google's relevance to my searches has been slipping the last two years. DDG isn't as good as google was, but neither is google anymore.

      4 votes
      1. Deimos Link Parent
        One of my major annoyances with Google lately is how badly it wants to "fix" all my queries for me. For example, I'm working on some monitoring stuff for Tildes right now, so I just did a search...

        One of my major annoyances with Google lately is how badly it wants to "fix" all my queries for me. For example, I'm working on some monitoring stuff for Tildes right now, so I just did a search for "pyramid metrics tween". The first results were ones that it says don't include the word "metrics" because it decided that wasn't important, and I have to click on something to tell it that yes, I actually want it to do the search I asked for, and not one that's missing an essential word.

        I use DDG as my main search engine, but I still try Google sometimes if I'm looking for more results. I need to get more used to always doing my Google searches via the !vg bang in DDG to force it into "verbatim" mode.

        2 votes
  4. [3]
    Whom Link
    rateyourmusic is still a nice cozy place to give your input on music, see what others think, and find new things in the process. While there's some spillover from worse sites present on rym, for...

    rateyourmusic is still a nice cozy place to give your input on music, see what others think, and find new things in the process. While there's some spillover from worse sites present on rym, for the most part you have to seek them out to land on them, and everyone else just wants to talk about music. More than any public place on the internet, I feel comfortable and at home on rym.

    AniList is an alternative to MyAnimeList that has a bit more going on socially and I find it to be a pretty friendly space. Because it's a smaller alternative on a topic that isn't super general, even its global activity space is a worthwhile place to be. While I find this to be a great place with moderators who have their heads on straight, it's still an anime community and as such there will always be people walking the line of what I'm comfortable with, but it has good enough moderation + a decent enough block feature to make that negligible.

    Really, the reason I care about these places is basically the same: There's a lot of sweet people who care a lot about what the sites are about. I'm so tired of the non-communities that build up on places like reddit and how they've all idealized not caring or being excited about anything, and these give me an escape.

    7 votes
    1. kavi Link Parent
      That's why I made the post, to try and find actual communities. I'll take a look at rateyourmusic, it looks promising!

      That's why I made the post, to try and find actual communities. I'll take a look at rateyourmusic, it looks promising!

      1 vote
    2. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Whom Link Parent
        Going to the homepage of each site should illustrate this pretty well. MAL wants to be a database and recommendation hub more than anything else, so front and center are currently airing things,...

        Going to the homepage of each site should illustrate this pretty well. MAL wants to be a database and recommendation hub more than anything else, so front and center are currently airing things, popular things, store shit, and other pretty dry content. There's some friend things when you're logged in, but it's still pretty light. The AniList frontpage is the inverse of that, with most of the screen being dedicated to either the global feed or the feed of your friends, and it's set up much more like a social experience than MAL is...it just feels tacked on in the case of MAL. I prefer the more social angle where you can't help but talk to strangers about things, and that combined with the security and downtime issues MAL had makes me hesitate to move back.

        MAL is also a shell of its former self in terms of community, but the site just isn't designed with that in mind so it's not surprising that clubs and such are mostly dead. I get your complaints about modern design, but MAL does that as well and imo AniList pulls it off more tolerably and consistently.

        1 vote
  5. mjb Link
    Pluspora is a Diaspora pod inhabited largely by refugees from Google+, which is shutting down soon. I've long enjoyed the quality of content and discussion on Google+, and this has carried over to...

    Pluspora is a Diaspora pod inhabited largely by refugees from Google+, which is shutting down soon. I've long enjoyed the quality of content and discussion on Google+, and this has carried over to Pluspora.

    Diaspora is a nonprofit, user-owned, distributed social network that is based upon the free Diaspora software. It consists of a group of independently owned nodes (called pods) which interoperate within a federated network, part of what is known as the Fediverse. You can operate your own node or join an existing one. Notably, Diaspora supports long-form posts, rather than being restricted to the shorter content length found on most micro-blogging platforms.

    4 votes
  6. [2]
    croc Link
    https://www.ecosia.org/ - this search engine plants a tree about every ~40 or so times you search for something. It uses bing I believe as a base search and I have got really decent results from...

    https://www.ecosia.org/ - this search engine plants a tree about every ~40 or so times you search for something. It uses bing I believe as a base search and I have got really decent results from it. The reason I use Ecosia is strangely not because I want to plant trees, but I dislike google. The trees are just a nice benefit.

    https://www.habbo.com - okay, go ahead and laugh at me. If you've never heard of habbo hotel let me go ahead and explain it; it's a virtual "world" or hotel that you can chat with other people in. It is specifically focused on chatting, but you can build your own hotel rooms with furniture (some furni(ture) you can pay for, and some furni you can get for free by just playing the game). Habbo is a great place to chat with random people and friends alike. I find it really easy to find new people on here all the time to have small talk with.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/top.htm - yes, this website looks a little... err... antiquated and skeptic, but it's honestly the best place I've found to read old sacred texts from religions. This means all of the good stuff they cut out of the bible (apocrypha), islamic poetry (rumi), alchemical texts, and many many more! This is a MASSIVE index of FREE and AWESOME knowledge!!

    3 votes
    1. kavi Link Parent
      Ecosia appears to be down. I also don't use Google because I dislike it, I just use DuckDuckGo instead, for privacy. I'll check out habbo soon :)

      Ecosia appears to be down. I also don't use Google because I dislike it, I just use DuckDuckGo instead, for privacy.

      I'll check out habbo soon :)

      3 votes
  7. [3]
    Eva Link
    I'm just going to go with the obvious one: Twitter! Fantastic people, fantastic amounts of activity, fantastic amounts of intelligence. As long as you use it correctly, it's one of the best places...

    I'm just going to go with the obvious one: Twitter! Fantastic people, fantastic amounts of activity, fantastic amounts of intelligence. As long as you use it correctly, it's one of the best places on the internet.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      k2l8m11n2 Link Parent
      What are some accounts you'd recommend to follow?

      What are some accounts you'd recommend to follow?

      2 votes
      1. Eva Link Parent
        It depends on the type of person you are. I, personally, am a pretty big fan of @polytrophic, @djmicrobeads, and when I'm feeling a bit silly, @snus_kin. Of course, these aren't brand accounts and...

        It depends on the type of person you are. I, personally, am a pretty big fan of @polytrophic, @djmicrobeads, and when I'm feeling a bit silly, @snus_kin.

        Of course, these aren't brand accounts and aren't even necessarily interesting accounts, they're just people I tend to enjoy talking to on the site.

        For more "brand"-ish accounts, Chris Farren, without a doubt.

        3 votes
  8. culturedleftfoot Link
    I've never actually signed up, but it's happened fairly often that I've been looking for opinions on something online and ended up at a thread on The Straight Dope. They've never steered me wrong.

    I've never actually signed up, but it's happened fairly often that I've been looking for opinions on something online and ended up at a thread on The Straight Dope. They've never steered me wrong.

    2 votes
  9. [3]
    meghan Link
    https://discordapp.com/ - depends on the server but that's the same thing with reddit. Chat based discussion https://dev.to/ - Developer focused blogging

    https://discordapp.com/ - depends on the server but that's the same thing with reddit. Chat based discussion
    https://dev.to/ - Developer focused blogging

    1 vote
    1. Atvelonis Link Parent
      I like Discord, and use it a lot, but I'm not sure I would necessarily group it in with the likes of Tildes and Wikipedia. I don't really have anything bad to say about the platform as a whole,...

      I like Discord, and use it a lot, but I'm not sure I would necessarily group it in with the likes of Tildes and Wikipedia. I don't really have anything bad to say about the platform as a whole, just that it seems to exist with primarily monetary goals in mind, not lofty ideals about the sharing of information or whatever. That does affect some of the ways you interact with it: their artificial limitation of emoji usage, that new games store, etc. Admittedly minor problems, but even so, it's something to note.

      9 votes
    2. kavi Link Parent
      I forgot about discord! I stick to inactive servers, IIRC I'm on the Tildes server, a speed running one and one with my mates in. I'll check out dev.to :)

      I forgot about discord! I stick to inactive servers, IIRC I'm on the Tildes server, a speed running one and one with my mates in. I'll check out dev.to :)

  10. [2]
    cgrrr Link
    I did not know about Disroot. Thanks!

    I did not know about Disroot.

    Thanks!

    1 vote